Dean\'s Update – 8/9/2021 – Awards Edition (Corrected)
08/15/2022, 03:25:01 PM
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Aug. 9, 2022


Jesse GoinsPlease join me in welcoming Jesse Goins, who will assist me and our new associate dean for faculty and staff equity, belonging, and success. Jesse is a lifelong resident of the East End, a graduate of UHD, and a volunteer deputy voter registrar. She’s also the proud granddaughter of former Houston ISD trustee Esther Campos, who earned an honorary doctorate from the College of Education in 2021 to cap her career as one of the district’s first bilingual education teachers. Feel free to stop by suite 214 to say hello!

Also, in advance of our back-to-school breakfast, let’s welcome our newest faculty starting in the fall and honor all our faculty and staff who have earned service milestones and awards of distinction. With so many new faces joining us since the virtual days of the pandemic, we’ll recognize all the new hires since 2020 at the breakfast.

In case you missed the memo yesterday, I look forward to working with the leadership team and each of you to achieve great success in support of our mission to end inequities in education and health.


Editor's note: This version corrects Anne Katz's most recent job due to an editing error. We apologize. 


  • T-shirt Distribution Day — Tuesday, Aug 16. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Farish Hall, Room 135. Pick up your T-shirt to wear to the Faculty & Staff Breakfast and First Lecture (please coordinate with a colleague if you can't be there to get your shirt).  
  • Faculty & Staff Breakfast — Friday, Aug. 19. 8:30 a.m. Meet our newest hires, connect with colleagues, and honor our faculty and staff award recipients. To RSVP: Please accept the Outlook calendar invite and select “Send the Response Now.”
  • First Lecture — Friday Aug. 19. 10:30 a.m. Cullen Performance Hall (doors open 10:15 a.m.). Featuring Jose Antonio Vargas, a leading voice for the rights of immigrants. RSVP Now!

RSVP for First Lecture


Amir BehjatAmirmohsen Behjat (PHLS Health)

Most recent job: associate professor of public health at Coastal Carolina University

Research interests/areas of expertise: food security, food environment, needs assessment, environmental sustainability and ArcGIS

A little about my background: I was born in Iran to a family of teachers. I always wanted to be teacher and I consider myself lucky to achieve that goal.

Hobbies: spending time with family and friends; playing with my two lovely cats, Emma and Milo; and watching movies and sports

Jennifer FarmerJennifer Farmer (PHLS – Health)

Most recent job: program director for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (iTP3) Project at Texas A&M University

Research interests/areas of expertise: adolescent health, sexual and reproductive health, innovation, human centered design, and systems thinking. My dissertation research specifically focused on the needs and interests of youth regarding their school-based sexual health education.

A little about my background: I grew up in Tyler, Texas, but lived in Scotland, Missouri, and a few other cities in Texas before settling with my husband and son in Houston. I have always been interested in health and studied nutrition as an undergraduate student; however, when working as a nutritionist with mothers as young as 11 and 12, I realized I wanted to help improve the health and well-being of adolescents through effective health education.

Hobbies: I love to travel, try new foods and drinks, and just about anything I can do outside with my family.

Anne KatzAnne Katz (CUIN – Early Childhood Education)

Most recent job: associate professor of reading & literacy education, Georgia Southern University (Savannah)

Research interests/areas of expertise: community literacy initiatives, content-area literacy, visual literacy, family literacy, critical literacy, and scholarship of teaching and learning

A little about my background: I am a native Houstonian. My mom is a proud UH alumna. After earning my master’s degree, a professor encouraged me to pursue my doctorate while I was teaching full time. I feel fortunate to have found my niche, and genuinely enjoy working with future educators.

Hobbies: reading, cooking, listening to music, travel and photography

Read the full Q&A 


2022 Faculty Awards

Teaching Excellence Award
Tiffany J. Davis (ELPS), Kristen Hassett (ELPS), Allison Master (PHLS)

Faculty Research Mentoring Award 
Lyle McKinney (ELPS)

Collaborative Research Excellence Award 
Virginia Snodgrass Rangel (ELPS)

Staff Awards

Staff Distinguished Service Award
Kevin Pham (CITE), Shelley Townsend (Parent Education Project)

Staff Excellence Award
Miranda Jasso (OOR), Karen Tran (Finance)

Staff Spirit Award
Nkemdilim Ibekwe (UGS)

Service Awards

Five Years
Celeste Alba (CUIN), Justin Burris (CUIN), Vincent Carales (ELPS), Ann Chen (PHLS), Tiffany J. Davis (ELPS), Marcel de Dios (PHLS), Bulent Dogan (CUIN), Sarah Fard (ACES), Elsa Gonzalez (ELPS), Tina Ho (CUIN), Han Joe Kim (PHLS), Miao Li (CUIN), Ana Morales (UGS), Nicole Switzer (PHLS), Rachael Whitaker (PHLS) 

10 Years
Samuel Brower (CUIN), Paula Canada (Communications), Susan Day (PHLS), Heather Domjan (CUIN), Susie Gronseth (CUIN), Margaret Hale (CUIN), Laura Lee (UGS), Anne McClellan (ACES), Ezemenari Obasi (PHLS), Kristi Santi (ELPS)

15 Years
Elizabeth Gonzales (AASC)

25 Years
Norma Olvera

35 Years
Jacqueline Hawkins (ELPS), Interim Provost Bob McPherson 

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